Throughout the years, whether you're a girl or a boy, there are certain phrases that you are bound to here. "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus", "Its easy to go the moon than to figure out a girl's heart" and "Boys are the most confused creatures" in the world to name just a few. Now these are said with good humour and are clearly not the norm but when it comes to love, everybody has an opinion about it. Sukumar is the kind of director that likes to take a different angle on everything and has done the same with his latest 100% Love. With Devi Sri Prasad on music, Naga Chaitanya and Tamannaah play the lead in this Geetha Arts production. So let's jump and check it out.
Meet Balu Mahendra [Naga Chaitanya]. State level tenth standard first rank holder, state level Intern first rank holder, MCET first rank holder and according to him, he is a genius and a brand name. The only thing bigger than his record is his ego. Enter Mahalakshmi [Tamannaah], his maradalu [marriagable cousin] from his home town in the village. A country belle smitten about her Balu Bava, she comes to the city to complete her higher education and stays with Balu and his family. While the family already adores Mahalakshmi, its going to take more than looking cute for her to get on her Balu Bava's good side. For his part, Balu with his head is firmly in the sky, doesn't look at anything beyond her second class ranking and dismisses her promptly. She decides to stick to her studying but becomes frantic in her exam and breaks down crying. Mahalakshmi runs out of the exam and says to her Balu's father, her uncle[Naresh] that she is going to fail and she wants to just go back to her hometown when surprisingly, Balu steps in. Ignorant to her and her emotions as Balu may have been, he decides to help her out of pity. And so with his guidance, her own effort and a bit praying by the whole family to Ganesha, Mahalakshmi sits for the exams. But much to Balu's absolute disbelief, she doesn't just pass. She takes over his coveted first rank. Balu becomes furious at the humiliation while everyone else is applauding her. But he isn't one to let the humiliation last long so he puts in the extra hours to study and in the process, purposefully distracts Mahalakshmi from her own without her realising. Yet just before he can bask in his glory, Mahalakshmi realises his plan and starts her own cat and mouse game to even the grounds. D-day arrives after the exams and both get the shock of their life as their class mate Ajith[Anand] came first. For Balu, his ego maybe hurt with Mahalakshmi getting the first rank the last time but there is no way another student can take it. So the both of them set their rivalry aside and work up a plan to distract Ajith. But he's not the only one that gets distracted as the two spend more and more time together studying albeit with a few encounters on the personal side. Everything seems to go smoothly and as according to plan, Balu gets first rank. Celebrations are in order and the family members, who are by now aware of the private canoodling, plan for an engagement announcement on the day of the party when Balu gets a bout of jealousy as Mahalakshmi casually praises Ajith who missed out only by a few marks. Words become insults and with their guests and parents as witness, Balu and Mahalakshmi have a massive fight and the pair part ways. Yet only 3 years on, circumstances bring them back together. Has time healed all wounds? Have Balu and Maahalakshmi changed themselves? To find out, you will have to watch the moview.
First thing's first. Naga Chaitanya, who is only three films old and has thus far made some interesting choices with his films, is absolutely adorable as Balu. Personally, I could even say this is by far the most perfectly suited rôle for him. The arrogance, the dismissal, the attitude, the frustration. At every point, Balu has the face of Naga Chaitanya and that is all you see. Some may feel he is a little stiff at certain points but given that everyone has quirks and habits, this only adds to his appeal and I myself have come across real people that have rarely faced failure and get a big head over it. Tamannaah plays the bubbly Mahalakshmi with ease but tends to go OTT with more emotive scenes. She also has tendency of reminding you of an early career stage Kareena Kapoor. However, she looks amazing and has great chemistry with all on screen, including and most importantly, Naga Chaitanya. Anand as Ajith has very little to do even though he is quite important to the story. K.R.Vijaya is elegance on screen and delivers whats needed for her Mahalakshmi Bhama rôle. Naresh has very few scenes in the film but plays it with heart. Vijayakumar is apt in his special appearance. Big special mention to the kiddies in the crew. Each one adorable as hell but unfortunately names aren't available of these little champions. Dharmavarapu Subramaniam, 'Thagubothu' Ramesh, 'Chitram' Sreenu and M S Narayana add to the comedy cocktailfun while the rest are passable.
That leads us to the scene stealer. Sukumar is at it again with his "different" angle on love. Personally, I felt that life has become one big competition to see who's better and with the alarming rate divorces get sanctioned, there is more truth to Sukumar little message than most would believe. But leaving the realistic things aside, his trademark storytelling is evident. Keeping the fun in check and building the drama in proportion, he showcases his talent in abundance. Adding to his awesome screenplay is the superb dialogue. Yes there are some commercialised moments but in all, there were very few in the cinema hall that didn't enjoy such great lines. Music by Devi Sri Prasad almost always has automatic feet-on-the-dancefloor effect and he is back to his old tricks with 100% Love. A Squared. That Is Mahalakshmi and Kallu Kallu Plusu bring out the fun, crazy and melodious side where Diyalo Diyala is a classic item number that is always present on a DSP soundtrack. But the album entirely leaves a major impact. Cinematography by Venkat Prasad is top notch as is editing by Srinivasa Karthik. Both are a huge asset to the film. Leaving us with the negatives of the film remaining.
So what can be wrong with one the most enjoyable flicks in recent times? Not much. Depth in characters could have been extended to avoid a two-character-driven-story feel yet at the same time, the situations become as they are because of the lead characters. The disappearance of Swapna at the climax wedding was overseen but came to the fore when Ajith was shown leaving. A few snips here and there could have done some good but barring that, you will be hard fetched to find anything majorly wrong as the film does entertain and leave you with a satisfied feeling about the money you spent on the tickets. Even if you go looking, it is you that needs to judge if the film reminds you of them or not.
To me, 100% Love is 50% Fun, 50% Masti and 100% Bindaas. A total time pass film that will have you singing the words and tapping your toes as you get the giggles from the story.